In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.
- Luke 1:26 – 29
Everything was ready. The moment was finally here. God was finally entering the world to save his people, just as he had promised all along.
But how does he come? And who does he choose?
God enters the world through the womb of a poor, unwed, teenage girl from the town of Nazareth.
The point couldn’t be more obvious: God’s chooses unlikely people.
After all, Mary was from an ordinary family. She didn’t have a degree hanging on the wall. She wasn’t connected to power or money. She wasn’t known or noticeable. Most likely, Mary was uneducated. She was most certainly poor. As a Jewish woman, she would have been marginalized because Jewish women, in those days, were seen as second class citizens.
So here are Mary’s credentials: poor, uneducated, Jewish teenager with very little life experience and perhaps no experience raising children.
I don’t know about you but if I’m choosing a mom for Jesus, I’m looking for someone with a bit more to work with.
And yet Mary is God’s first choice. She is the one who hears “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” The hope of this world was conceived in her virgin womb.
And it wasn’t like God tried to find someone else but he couldn’t, so he settled for Mary. No. God could have picked anyone. He could have picked a woman with influence and affluence. But who does God choose? God looks at an unwed girl and he says, “I pick you.”
There is hope in this for us. God’s grace is given to unlikely people. He recognizes those who have not been recognized and he celebrates those who walk through life uncelebrated.
And so if you are poor and passed over, if you are an unlikely candidate for something special, if you have been marginalized because of your race or age or social standing, take heart this Christmas knowing that God chooses people like you. You may have been passed over by many people but God has not passed over you.
So as you wait for Jesus to come back for you, remember, your life matters to him and God wants to be gracious to you. Take heart, O favored one, the Lord is with you.